About this Show

The Rachel Maddow Show

News/Business. (2013) New.

NETWORK

DURATION
01:01:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel v787

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Syria 25, Us 12, Washington 7, Angie 7, United States 7, Bill Clinton 6, Clinton 6, John Kerry 6, Obama 6, Iraq 5, Sam 4, Obama Administration 4, Dunbar 4, Nascar 3, George Bush 3, Colin Powell 3, Afghanistan 3, Iran 3, Donald Rumsfeld 2, Michael Scherer 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  MSNBC    The Rachel Maddow Show    News/Business.  (2013) New.  

    August 30, 2013
    6:00 - 7:01pm PDT  

6:00pm
be a military strike by u.s. forces, the people that we have asked to serve this country, the folks that are in syria that are cowering, peace to everyone this weekend. that is "all in" for this evening. rachel maddow is off tonight. a special edition of "hardball" with chris matthews starts now. good night. war talk. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. it's about killing people when all the words are spoken, all the conversation about needing to enforce a red line to protect an international norm, any decision by president obama to bomb syria will kill people. it will kill the guys working the nightschihift. people doing their jobs to put food on their family tables. daddy who went to work that morning will not be coming home
6:01pm
because of what this president decides to do. the assad family will be okay, of course. the designers of that "vogue" magazine spread won't be angu h anguished by the sight of this thoroughly western family lying on the floor. no, the people who will die in an american cruise missile attack will be the working, praying little family people whose husbands do the scud work. war sucks. even in neat little bite-size act of war like the one that might come any day now. and, yet, and yet. how do we avoid this flagrant reality if we don't? those deciding in tehran right now whether to build a nuclear bomb are looking to see what the people in washington are doing. if we threaten the country, if it uses one weapon of mass destruction and goes ahead and ignores us, what worth does our threat hold against that other country deciding whether to build theirs? is there any way we can convince iran not to go nuclear if we let syria so flagrantly go chemical?
6:02pm
ann garrett, diplomatic correspondent for the "washington post." jeremy, former chief of staff for the cia and defense department under the great leon panetta. i want you first to start, secretary of state john kerry in an amazing performance today, most forceful and passionate speeches i've seen him give laid out the reasons this afternoon for action against syria including the first numbers on the death toll, numbers much higher than we'd heard before. let's listen. >> we know that the regime has used those weapons multiple times this year. we know that for three days before the attack, the syrian regime's chemical weapons personnel were on the ground, in the area, making preparations. we know that the syrian regime elements were told to prepare for the attack by putting on gas masks and taking precautions. we know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas and went
6:03pm
only to opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods. breathing difficulties. people twitching with spasms. coughing. rapid heartbeats. foaming at the mouth. unconsciousness and death. we saw rows of dead lined up in burial shrouds. the white linen, unstained by a single drop of blood. the united states government now knows that at least 1,429 syrians were can killed in this attack including at least 426 children. this is the indiscriminate, inconceivable horror of chemical weapons. this is what assad did to his own people. >> ann, years ago when i was a kid i saw a book on world war i and saw what happened to the gassed victims of the war and gas was used along the european
6:04pm
front. in world war ii, as bad as the war was with the holocaust and all that horror, on the war front they didn't use it. now here we have assad using it. apparently his people using it, chain of command using it. this president has to commit an act of war it seems to me right now. is this the predicpredicament? the only appropriate response today is to commit an act of war against syria which kills a bunch of people who may have had nothing to do with this? >> it's an anomlation war, saying we're going to do this thing, small military thing if they go as we expect they will. >> perhaps over the weekend. >> perhaps over the weekend. >> in order to avoid a much larger threat and the potential for much wider war. you heard kerry say very specifically today that there are at least three other countries or terror networks. iran, north korea and he is blah, who would be watching to see what the united states does. all either have chemical weapons or in the case of iran, have some access to them, but also
6:05pm
access, potentially, to a nuclear device. >> do we know whether shooting at syria will be taken seriously by the people who might be deciding at this point whether to go to weaponize their nuclear capability in iran? do we know that they think like we do? >> we certainly don't know that they think like we do and iran is such a complex and many layered place with so many layers, areas of control that it's hard to identify one position for the government. >> okay. >> one thing that the obama administration is hoping is that the mullahs would say, wow, we don't want to get our nuclear facilities whacked like just happened in syria, so let's not do anything provocative in response. >> jeremy bash, your thoughts on that. keep the focus here on deterrence. we have a military capability. can we, should we use it in this way? to signal our potential future enemies, don't go nuclear, because we're not going to let
6:06pm
this bum go chemical. >> chris, it's good to be with you. i probably sat through several hundred intelligence briefings over the last eight years on capitol hill, at the cia and the defense department. not one has been nearly as definitive as this one and not one has been nearly as horrifying as this. this ranks up there as one of the most convincing and compelling intelligence cases for using military action in this way. in terms of your question about deterrence and talking about iran, let me point out two things. in 2003, iran suspended its nuclear program. we know that definitively. why do they do that? in part because that was the same year we invaded iraq. we were in both countries around iran. they feared our military. now, that wasn't the objective of the iraq war but it was one of the intended -- that was one of the consequences. >> right. >> i also note in january of 2011, chris, if you recall, iran announced it was going to close the straits of hormuz. secretary panetta and chairman marty dempsey of the joint chiefs walked to the briefing room and said if iran closes the straits of hormuz, it's going to
6:07pm
cross a red line for the united states. we were ambiguous about what would happen. "u.s.s. lincoln" was going through the straits. you know what iran did? they"lincoln" sailed. >> the secretary of state was incredibly impassioned. i've never seen him this deadly serious about something in a moral context the way he looked at it. he was also confident to keep saying there are things i can't tell you that can't be declassi declassified. what is your hunch he would like to say but he can't to further make the case for action? >> i think it's the granularity of the intelligence. we can say there were human sources on the ground telling us what the assad regime did. intercepts of certain regime conversations. geospatial intelligence. that means imagery, satellites, looking down at the ground looking to see what we saw. we don't want to be that specific about who told us, which phone lines did we tap and what did we take pictures of?
6:08pm
that would give too much information to the assad regime. >> he is saying he's personally much more assured that there were weapons used at the behest of the regime that he can say. >> yes, i also think they're looking at the alternative scenarios. one of the things that intelligence analysts do is red team things. they look for alternative hypotheses. is it possible, plausible someone could have pulled this off as a hoax, a fraud, something the opposition did to gain our sympathy? they look at the scenarios and determine it and say that's simply not possible, chris. >> i'm glad to hear that. let's take a look. here's secretary kerry further making the case that inaction is not an action. this is where i'm coming from. if we don't do it, will the neocons say politically, for example, you let iran happen because you didn't act when you had your chance. this is your munich. let's listen. >> we need to ask what is the risk of doing nothing? it matters because if we choose
6:09pm
to live in a world where a thug and a murderer like bashar al assad can gas thousands of his own people with impunity, even after the united states and our allies said no, and then the world does nothing about it, there will be no end to the test of our resolve. >> this is in our american dna, our western dna. if you don't stop the bad guy at some point, you're going to have to stop them later and be at a disadvanta disadvantage. on the other side of germany, and probably lose the initial fight. so here's the fight here. fight now or never. >> it's happened to every american president really, i mean, certainly going back probably as far as world war i and the widespread use of chemical weapons the first time. in some way or another, every american president, as obama is now, is faced with this only bad choice choice. what do i do? do i do the little thing i don't want to do?
6:10pm
>> here's a question you won't like. why were the tones so different between -- i want to show you the president, the president was no drama obama compared to the very emotional john kerry. here's president obama's tone. it was very different, as i said, from kerry's, who spoke a couple hours before. let's watch him this afternoon. here's a president in a meeting. he sort of did it as a photo spray right before his meeting with some baltic state presidents. >> i have not made a final decision about various actions that might be taken to help enforce that norm, but as i've already said, i have had my military and our team look at a wide range of options. we have consulted with allies. we've consulted with congress. we've been in conversations with all the interested parties. and in no event are we considering any kind of military action that would involve boots
6:11pm
on the ground, that would involve a long-term campaign, but we are looking at the possibility of a limbed, narrow act that would help make sure that not only syria, but others around the world, understand that the international community cares about maintaining this chemical weapons ban. >> anne, it's so different. usually presidents say everything is on the table, i'm not telling you what we're up to because it could be worse than we think. he's saying, don't worry, bashar al assad, we're not bringing boots on the ground. he seems more afraid of the war skeptics than of the enemy. more worried about them. >> yeah, there's definitely something to that. you're seeing the administration's own ambivalence about how strong a case to make and who should make it play out here. kerry genuinely feels very strongly about this.
6:12pm
you heard his voice break and all that. i am perfectly prepared to believe that was entirely genuine and sincere. it is. it is. and obama's low -- >> let me go back -- i only have a minute. thanks for coming on the show. jeremy, why doing this and a photo spray with a bunch of cameras clicking showing he's almost on the way of going somewhere, the bathroom or something? oh, i have a minute for you guys here. why didn't he stop the music, call a press briefing, go into the briefing room and say, damnit, we're talking war here. why no drama at all? >> the president is is reluctant as we want presidents to be when they deploy american military force. look at other times he deployed forces. doubled down forces in afghanistan, participated in the coalition operations in libya and spent special operations force 150 miles into pakistan to get bin laden. in each of those cases he was concerned and somewhat reluctant to put americans in harms way. >> i know that. >> and to commit the american military. he did it. in those cases i think it's been
6:13pm
in our national interest. this president, he doesn't want to get stampeded. i think really his tone and his words are kind of his way of saying that old thing that presidents used to say which is we will respond at a time, place and manner of our choosing, not defined by the enemy or our critics. certainly not be defined inside the beltway. will be defined in a way we want to do it. we have to posture the military force, consult with allies and talk to congress. there's work to be done. at the end of the day the president will act and it will be a good act to deter and to degrade and punish assad. >> i remain skeptical about why he was so undramatic there. usually when you're about to kill people, about to do something dramatic in war, commit an act of war, you show a little more excitement. thank you, anne, jeremy. i'm not barack obama. he clearlison me. coming up, the ghost of george w. bush. chronic lies and deceptions of the bush administration in iraq have undermined the case for action in syria. don't you think? as one british member of parliament put it, the well has
6:14pm
been poisoned. too many crying wolf out there. also the obama/clinton alliance. bill clinton is making a big speech next week at his library pushing the affordable care act. who is the big dog trying to help? the current president or possible future one? plus, segregation laws are a thing of the past. yeah. but we have often self-segregated ourselves into black neighborhoods and white neighborhoods. tonight, the challenges and culture shock for the african-american youngster when he leaves his neighborhood for college. finally, let me finish with the usual suspects pushing this war in syria. and this is "hardball." the place for politics. i think farmers care more about the land
6:15pm
than probably anyone else. we've had this farm for 30 years. we raise black and red angus cattle. we also produce natural gas. that's how we make our living and that's how we can pass the land and water back to future generations. people should make up their own mind what's best for them. all i can say is it has worked well for us. the new nbc news poll shows when asked about taking military action in syria in response to chemical weapons, half americans are against it. 50% say the united states should not take action in syria. 42% support military action. we looked inside the numbers. democrats are split evenly, 46-46 on whether to take
6:16pm
military action, which sounds right to me. 46-46 sounds like the people i talk to. among republicans, 49% oppose action against syria. 41% support it. i wonder if one of their guys was pushing it, if it would have a different view. just thinking. and when we asked whether the president needs congress' approval before taking military action in syria, 79% said yes, we need congressional action for war. 16% say no. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] this is claira.
6:17pm
to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for her, she's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with her all day to see how it goes. [ claira ] after the deliveries, i was okay. now the ciabatta is done and the pain is starting again. more pills? seriously? seriously. [ groans ] all these stops to take more pills can be a pain. can i get my aleve back? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap.
6:18pm
our intelligence community has carefully reviewed and re-reviewed information regarding this attack. and i will tell you, it has done so more than mindful of the iraq experience. we will not repeat that moment. we also know we have president who does what he says that he
6:19pm
will do. he has said very clearly that whatever decision he makes in syria, it will bear no resemblance to afghanistan, iraq, or even libya. it will not involve any boots on the ground. it will not be open ended, and it will not assume responsibility for a civil war that is already well under way. >> there is absolutely no question that when secretary of state john kerry made sure to point out that any action against syria would not be like iraq, that the ghost of iraq from the selling of the war on false premises to its execution hovers around any decision about action on syria. and the ghost of iraq haunts international leaders as well in describing the effect the iraq debacle had on british lawmakers' rejection of prime minister cameron's request for military action, a tory legislator told a "new york times" reporter, "the prime minister knew that the well had been poisoned by iraq, but i don't think he realized how much
6:20pm
that was the case." great quote. and the wording in this "washington post" piece, the main bar piece this morning on the british parliament's rejection shows the degree to the deception of the last war that sold the iraq war has become baked into our language. "many in his government," that's the british government "attributed the vote loss to the legacy of british participation in the 2003 u.s.-led invasion and subsequent occupation of iraq based on false claims about weapons of mass destruction." michael scherer is the washington bureau chief for "time." "unhappy warrior" about president obama's choices in syria. and josh rogin, senior correspondent for politics for "newsweek" and the daily beast. gentlemen, you watch and see how the boilerplate changes and how the regular conventional after it's been added and stuff in the major papers and magazines begins to be written into our history. false case. the word false, not some would argue allegedly false.
6:21pm
not would say unintentionally. it's false. so whatever it is, it's come down to bogus arguments for the war. crying wolf on iraq has led this president to have to fight off those who say he is crying wolf now. michael? >> it's absolutely right. and has a global impact. and there is an enormous irony here that obama's entire career is based on opposing the iraq war. >> it's how he got the nomination. >> it's how he got the nomination. here he finds himself on the other side of the coin trying to push this country into a war. >> by the way, i was telling you guys beforehand, i remember when he testified in 1971, my first year in washington, he was the guy back from the war in vietnam talking about how hellish the war was and how wrong it was. >> that's right. >> and now he is playing the colin powell role, right? he is the one out in front. >> and what is wrong with what you just said? >> i'll tell you there is a big difference. >> what was wrong with what you just said? playing the colin powell role who wants to be there? >> he doesn't want to. but there is an important difference if we're talking about iraq and now. in 2003, the weapons of mass destruction debate are about weapons that no one had seen,
6:22pm
that hadn't been used for years at that point. and it was based on this intelligence about where we think they might be. this is a situation with a lot of open intelligence. we know an attack took place. the issue of whether or not there are chemical weapons that have been used in syria is not really in question. >> i'm with you. the use of the weapons is not an argument any more whether they're existing. josh, the whole question is, do you want to be in a position of colin powell who was used? his credibility was used to make case for war rather than him believing in the war. i tone know what he thought. but he was used. this guy today, didn't you feel that kerry really wanted to fight this war? he wants to do something. >> they've got two issue here which is is obama in his second term working on his legacy. he wants his legacy to get america out of engagements in the middle east. he doesn't want his legacy to get into another one. then you john kerry. he has a syria problem. he was pushing for engagement with assad. he met with assad in 2009 on capitol hill. he thought assad could be turned, thought he was basically
6:23pm
a guy willing to break from iran and go with the united states. so now kerry has his own legacy problem. he doesn't want to go down as the guy who let assad skate by. he's got to double down. >> let's talk about the numbers in this country. we've gone over progressives who watch this show, a lot of them. look at these numbers now. 46-46, which is the argument we had last night with ignatius and somebody else right now. he is is is a "state" reporter. ignatius, but he is a moderate. the problem faces among smart, progressive people who are skeptical about military involvement, now look at this is a 50-50. even given the iraq. >> but you mentioned that the republican numbers are probably slanted because people dislike obama. >> he can say i'm going pardon the thanksgiving turkey and they'd oppose him. >> that number is probably slanted because they trust obama. so the number would probably be much lower. >> so people are the two sides flipping the anti-war democrats flipping him back into war a little more? >> here is the issue with the polls. it depends exactly how you asked the question. you guys asked the question in a sort of broad way.
6:24pm
if you ask about cruise missile strikes, the number goes higher. >> this is the general one. should the united states take military action? >> if ask should get involved in a general war, the numbers go way down. reuters did that earlier this week and the numbers, it's like -- >> letterman the other night. letterman might be a liberal. i don't know what he is. but a great line the other night was, did you hear the other day they said this war will only last two days. it's a case with a setup is funny. you don't have to add the punch line. did you hear, they said the war will last two days. and everybody watching in the audience is yeah, a war is going to last two days? >> here is the problem. nobody really understands what happens after those two days. it hasn't been explained. as far as we know it hasn't been decided. how does this change? the obama administration wants us to believe that we're going to bomb syria for two days and then everything goes back to normal. >> so like assad is going to say that was a rough day, dear. or is he going to call vladimir putin and say why don't you get even with these bastards. or call up hezbollah and say you want to really help me? lob some missiles into haifa. >> these are all good options.
6:25pm
nobody knows how he's going to react. nobody knows what we're going to do if he reacts negatively. let's say he launches another -- >> let me ask you this. do we have a kissinger-esque set of potential consequences followed by our potential reactions? >> no. and the bottom line here is what they're saying publicly and privately is after the two-day bombing campaign, we're going to go back to the political tract, working with the assad and the russians. nobody believes that is tenable. >> the rhetorical case is we're going to hold him accountable. that's the construction they keep using. we have to hold assad accountable for using these chemical weapons. i don't know what that means. >> what does that 19? if he gets overthrown, he's dead. i'll be blunt. he's not going to teach somewhere in minnesota. this guy is dead if he loses. so how do we hold him accountable? >> a senior administration official today said in a conference call with all of us said we don't think there's a military solution to this conflict. >> quickly we have to take a look at this. let's take a look at george bush. you're talking about. here is george bush talking
6:26pm
about this from the golf course the other day about this whole thing about whether we go to war or not, take an act of war against assad in syria. >> the president has a tough choice to make. and if he decides to use our military, he'll have the greatest military ever backing him up. i was not a fan of mr. assad. he's an ally of iran and has made mischief. >> that was the common sense george w. i liked years ago. we don't like the guy. he has bad friends. >> he is trying not to get in obama's way and not to play a role in this. i thought what was really funny yesterday was elite level trolling by donald rumsfeld. he said the president hasn't made the case for war, which just set off people on the left, right and center all over the place. when you have donald rumsfeld questioning your intelligence and your case for going to war in the middle east, i mean, i think that's trolling on a level -- >> they all belong where they are with the american enterprise institute.
6:27pm
where they all belong. thank you michael scherer, thank you, josh rogin. we're going to be right back. [ beeping ] ♪ [ male announcer ] we don't just certify our pre-owned vehicles. we inspect, analyze and recondition each one, until it's nothing short of a genuine certified pre-owned... mercedes-benz for the next new owner. ♪ hurry in to your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for 1.99% financing during our certified pre-owned sales event through september 3rd. pre-owned sales event nascar is ab.out excitement but tracking all the action and hearing everything from our marketing partners, the media and millions of fans on social media can be a challenge. that's why we partnered with hp to build the new nascar fan and media engagement center. hp's technology helps us turn millions of tweets, posts and stories into real-time business insights that help nascar win with our fans.
6:28pm
an arm wrestling match that mr. clean realized the way to handle bigger, tougher messes was better leverage. that's why he created his new magic eraser handy grip. it has a handle that firmly attaches to the eraser so you get better leverage and more oomph with less effort. it's the perfect magic eraser for making stuff that's big and tough not so tough, after all. mr. clean's handy grip -- the newest member of the magic eraser family. in all purpose and bath. [ engine revs ] if you have high cholesterol, here's some information that may be worth looking into. in a clinical trial versus lipitor, crestor got more high-risk patients' bad cholesterol to a goal of under 100. getting to goal is important, especially if you have high cholesterol plus any of these risk factors because you could be at increased risk for plaque buildup in your arteries over time. and that's why when diet and exercise alone aren't enough to lower cholesterol
6:29pm
i prescribe crestor. [ female announcer ] crestor is not right for everyone. like people with liver disease or women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. tell your doctor about other medicines you're taking. call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain or weakness, feel unusually tired, have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine or yellowing of skin or eyes. these could be signs of rare but serious side effects. is your cholesterol at goal? ask your doctor about crestor. [ female announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. [ female announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, and didn't know where to start. a contractor before at angie's list, you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. no company can pay to be on angie's list, so you can trust what you're reading. angie's list is like having thousands of close neighbors, where i can go ask for personal recommendations. that's the idea. before you have any work done, check angie's list. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust.
6:30pm
i love you, angie. sorry, honey. ha! >> well, john kerry said today it's undeniable that the president of syria is using weapons of mass destruction. kerry said that president obama needs to build a coalition of countries and attack soon no matter what others may say. today former president george bush said hey, good luck with that. let me know how that works out. i'd be curious to hear how that -- yes, yes. >> wow. welcome to the sideshow. that was jay leno last night on the topic making headlines today, syria. well, "the tonight show" certainly hasn't shied away from us policy lately, foreign or domestic. here he was on the irs' reversal on same-sex marriage. >> now the irs announced for first time it will treat same-sex marriages the same as
6:31pm
heterosexual ones. that shows how far we have come, when gay couples can be screwed by the irs just the same as straight couples. that is -- yes, yes, yes. >> wow. well, i guess there are two sides to every coin. anyway, finally. the nixon tapes released last week are a treasure-trove of material. for historians. i actually listened to the last conversation the former president had on tape before the recording system was shut down, removed from the white house in july of '73. classic nixon here. here he is speaking with his secretary, rosemary woods, just before leaving for hospital with a bad case of pneumonia. these were the final words caught on tape. >> we had the x-ray, and they did find it was viral pneumonia. so i have to go to the hospital for perhaps a week. >> i think the main thing is just try to get some rest. you know, if you want anything, just -- >> i rest all the time. >> oh, sure. sure. >> got it. in the hospital, boy, that about drives me nuts. >> i know. it's very difficult.
6:32pm
if you want anything and you want us to bring or you want me to come out there and do anything. >> oh, okay. thank you. >> and good luck. >> oh, it's going to be fine. >> i know it is. it will be a lot better tomorrow. >> tell ziegler to make the announcement. i says it's the only time in his career he'll hear the press corps clap. >> oh, those bastards, they won't clap. >> don't you love it? you won't have nixon to kick around anymore. he's in the hospital. up next, president clinton is about to help obama sell his health care law. but is he also trying to help someone else? hmm. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ ♪ we go, go, we don't have to go solo ♪ ♪ fire, fire, you can take me higher ♪ ♪ take me to the mountains, start a revolution ♪ ♪ hold my hand, we can make, we can make a contribution ♪ ♪ brand-new season, keep it in motion ♪ ♪ 'cause the rhyme is the reason ♪ ♪ break through, man, it doesn't matter who you're talking to ♪ [ male announcer ] completely redesigned for whatever you love to do. the all-new nissan versa note.
6:33pm
your door to more. ♪ but you had to leave rightce to now, would you go? world, man: 'oh i can't go tonight' woman: 'i can't.' hero : that's what expedia asked me. host: book the flight but you have to go right now. hero: (laughs) and i just go? this is for real right? this is for real? i always said one day i'd go to china, just never thought it'd be today. anncr: we're giving away a trip every day. download the expedia app and your next trip could be on us. expedia, find yours. [ male announcer ] from the last day of school, back to the first. they're gonna make everything from posters to do it yourself tattoos. so make sure they've got the sharpies to make their mark.
6:34pm
this week only get sharpie five packs for a dollar. staples has it. staples. that was easy. getting the right nutrition during your busy day can be a challenge. take control of your nutrition with each delicious bar provides boost bars are perfect with a meal or as a nutritious snack. plus, they are available in chocolate and peanut butter chocolate flavors. a great-tasting way to get the nutrition you need. brand power. helping you buy better.
6:35pm
i'm milissa rehberger. president obama met with his national security staff on syria today. administration officials say no decision has been made yet on a military strike. syrian officials reacting to secretary of state john kerry's case for military action say he is misleading the american people and has no evidence of a chemical attack. a raging wildfire around yosemite national park is now
6:36pm
32% contained. and apple launches trade-in program for old iphones. the move comes before the suspected release of a new iphone in september. back to "hardball." president bill clinton. ♪ yesterday's gone ♪ yesterday's gone ♪ don't stop thinking about tomorrow ♪ ♪ don't stop >> in tampa, the republican argument against the president's re-election was actually pretty simple. pretty snappy. it went something like this. we left him a total mess. he hadn't cleaned it up fast enough. so far he hasn't put us back in. >> wow. welcome back to "hardball."
6:37pm
that was the big dog, elvis, former president bill clinton. whatever you call him. he was at last year's democratic convention making the best case anyone made for president obama, many think, including president obama. was clinton doing what he does best? explaining things. he's very good at explaining things. he is so good at it, in fact, that president obama had this to say about clinton after his convention speech. >> somebody e-mailed me after his speech and said you need to appoint him secretary of explaining stuff. >> wow. the secretary of explaining stuff is being enlisted, recruited again. next week president clinton will deliver a major address down at his library on the landmark affordable care act that the white house says will be the first in a series of high profile speeches on health care. well, the president's signature achievement, that's obama is under relentless attack from republicans, especially people like ted cruz who say they will stop at nothing to repeal or
6:38pm
defund or whatever that law of the land. well, president obama is once again turning to perhaps the democratic party's greatest messenger for help, even though their effort crashed and burned the clintons back in the old days of the '90s. when they started to push for health care reform. they were at the take, they only want to be there for the landing ahead of 2016. the obama/clinton alliance is a remarkable powerhouse with unforeseen benefits but what for and for whom? joining me right now to discuss this, "huffington post" political editor, the great sam stein and co-founder of third way and former president clinton adviser matt bennett. sam, you smile, but you are good. let me ask you this. put it together in the heads of the obama people who have enlisted bill clinton or asked him to help or he is asked to help and the clinton people around him, including the former secretary of state who may well be the next president, hillary clinton. what is the relationship between these two political families and health care?
6:39pm
>> well, i think there is three points here. one is i think genuinely the clintons and the obamas like the affordable care act. they think it's good policy. they want to sell it and make sure that it works. that's one. two, i think for better or worse, the party is essentially tied to the health care reform law. when hillary runs, if she runs in 2016, she can't run away from the affordable health care act, she has to take ownership of it because this is what the democratic party now stands for. and finally, third, i think it come downs to what you said at the top of this segment, which is bill clinton explains things in ways that are relatable to a swid swath of the population this president has trouble reaching. in this case it happens to be the part of the population that is instrumental to the implementation of the affordable care act. they tend to be low to middle income americans. who either don't have a swrob or or a lot of money to pay for health insurance. the administration needs them to sign up in these exchanges. the obama administration has had a devil of a time selling this law. they need to try again because this stuff is kicking in in the near future, and bill clinton is going to help him with that task.
6:40pm
>> let's go to that map. we grow up, my generation with mr. wizard, who came on tv and every week and explained science, had test tubes and beakers and everything. bill clinton is like that. he steps back. he gives it a couple of days thought and comes up with a metaphor. the image that makes sense. he takes his time and does beautifully at that. the president doesn't do that. >> clinton is unbelievable. he is the greatest political communicator since fdr. he just is able to understand his audience better than any politician alive. and -- >> does part of his head stay home and stay a regular person who thinks about the stuff that the common person thinks about at the kitchen table? >> exactly. the man from hope thing was shtick, but it was true. that was the genius of clinton is he grew up exactly like the types of people that sam was talking about. he understands who they are, where they come from and how they think, and he is able to relate to them like no one else. >> you know, sam, i want to get to that now. it seems to me that health care
6:41pm
has not been sold well. it did get 60 votes in the united states senate. it did get a majority thanks to nancy pelosi as speaker. but it never broke through in a way that for example something else would break through. something we all fall in love with, for example. why didn't it get sold? let me ask you an obvious question, because i've never gotten an obvious answer. 40 million people show up for work every day. they do a good job. they work 40 to 50 hours a week and don't have health care. it's not about poor people. it's not something to be embarrassed by because it's welfare. it's for working people, working people who don't have health care. why doesn't he go to those people and say look, i need you. let me tell you how good it's going to be for you. it's a break, a break for you. why doesn't he do it? >> well, part of the problem is just the construction of the health care law itself. a lot of the bad things happen first and the benefits kicked in later. they did that so the law would seem better when you had to score it for the congressional budget office. so there is a lot of time to demonize the law. taxes are going to come into effect. different regulations had to be
6:42pm
put into effect. it was only in 2014 and now pushed back a little bit to 2015 that some of the benefits will be felt. and so defenders of the law are always saying listen, give it tile, give it time. and it seems like a broken record. but in fact you do need to give it time you. do need to see the benefit ace accrue. >> when are the emergency rooms not going to be crowded with people dealing with things they should go to a primary care physician for? when is that day going to arrive? >> that day could be ten years down the road because a lot of this is about preventative service. a lot of this is funding a different lifestyle or encouraging communities for different lifestyles. those benefits don't happen in the next year. >> okay, les go to you, matt. the president. president clinton. how is he going to take something that is going to become the cat nip for ted cruz. just something to kick around and bring it home to people's living room, their kitchen tables and say under this thing, it's better for us. >> i'm not bill clinton. >> try. >> what he is going to say is look, what this is going to provide you, if you have health care, what this is already
6:43pm
providing you is stability and security. if you get sick, if you change jobs you can't be denied health care. you can keep your kids on until they're 26. there's all kinds of benefits for you. if you don't have health care, this is going to provide access to health care for you in ways you've never had before. >> how is he going to sell it to people in their 20s who have the option of paying a little fine rather than doing it? how does he sell it to the kid -- i always say it's like the motorcycle guy. i'm not against motorcycles. i used to have them. but when you travel on a motorcycle, your odds of getting hurt are really good. do you want to carry a sign on you that says leave me on the street? no. you want somebody to come from the hospital and treat you well. >> exactly. >> you want somebody to pay for it. >> you put your finger on the toughest crowd. i don't know how much he is really going to focus on the 20-something immortals who think they're going to live forever. but what he is going to say to them is you could get hit by a bus just like i can. you know, anybody can be in an accident. anybody can get hurt. >> sam, the tough question. is he doing this for his family, his wife who may be president or doing it for the country or both or obama? >> i think it's a bit of both. i think a lot of it does have to do with the fact that hillary
6:44pm
clinton will likely run in 2016, and she can't run away from the affordable care act. she still has to go through the primary process. she's going to express her devotion to the law. it is the signature law to the obama administration and a large part the democratic party. i also think there is a lot of genuine aspects to. this he tried to get health care reform through congress. obviously he failed. he appreciates the idea that you need to have universal health care. this is the first time the democrats were able to do this. and i think, you know, there is a bit of jealous that he couldn't do it. but he also genuinely believes in the notion of having universal health care. it's what a modern society should look like. and i think he wants to champion that. >> part of the reason he's so good is -- >> where are you from? >> i'm from syracuse, new york. >> you seem like a southern guy, a southern access. >> i'm not. >> you got a deep accent. i like that. it's like a radio voice. you got a little brook benton in you. thank you so much, sam stein. sam, you talk like i do. >> i don't have a southern
6:45pm
accent, do i? >> i haven't noticed it. we'll be right back. this is "hardball." the place for politics.
6:46pm
looking more and more like we know who the next mayor of new york will be. let's check the "hardball" scoreboard. a "new york tykes"/siena college poll shows a growing lead for bill de blasio. you have 32% on this poll compared to 18% for former city comptroller william thompson and 17% for the one-time front-runner christine quinn. the winner of the democratic
6:47pm
primary in ten days from now is very likely to win the november general election. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] at his current pace, bob will retire when he's 153,
6:48pm
which would be fine if bob were a vampire. but he's not. ♪ he's an architect with two kids and a mortgage. luckily, he found someone who gave him a fresh perspective on his portfolio. and with some planning and effort, hopefully bob can retire at a more appropriate age. it's not rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. and this park is the inside of your body. you see the special psyllium fiber in metamucil actually gels to trap and remove some waste. and that gelling also helps to lower some cholesterol. it even traps some carbs to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels as part of your diet. now that's one super hard working fiber. metamucil. 3 amazing benefits in 1 super fiber. ♪ you are gonna need a wingman.
6:49pm
and with my cash back, you are money. forget him. my airline miles will take your game worldwide. what i'm really looking for is -- i got two words for you -- re-wards. ♪ there's got to be better cards than this. [ male announcer ] there's a better way with creditcards.com. compare hundreds of cards from all the major banks to find the one that's right for you. it's simple. search, compare, and apply at creditcards.com. first round's on me. we're back. 50 years after the march on washington and martin luther king's iconic "i have a dream" speech, many are asking how far have we come with race relations in this country, and do blacks have equal access to jobs and education? if you take a look at high school graduation rates in predominantly black cities, that may tell us if we have indeed overcome. in 2010, the national graduation rate was at 78%. compare that to cities like atlanta at 66%, detroit 62%.
6:50pm
check out philly, my hometown, 58%. what's even more depressing is the graduation rate among african-americans who actually make it into college. according to the journal of blacks in higher education, african-americans who actually make it into college. according to the journal of blacks at higher education, that is only 42% at college, once you get in. a new book tells the fascinating story of how african-american students do well at the time they had limited resource, at dunb d dunbar college. allison, thank you for joining us. let me ask you about generations and progress and your experience with your family, which is perhaps the heart of this story of t . what has happened over the last several generations? >> it is an amazing story, i told you, chris, i'm working on a story about dunbar high school, i was working on a story
6:51pm
where my grandfather went, my parents went. he goes, oh, you're one of those, because you knew the story of dunbar, the athlete school during segregation, but despite the segregation produced the amazing scholars. it was like a magnet school because it is hard for some people who live in d.c. to think about this. but there were only three or four high schools that blacks could even go to in d.c. before 1954. so dunbar was the academic school, and they sent 80% of its graduates to college. the teachers had masters and phds, often because they couldn't find jobs in their field of study. some of them had amazing degrees, one, the first to get a degree, mary jane patterson, was one of the principals. so you had a magic moment in d.c. when you had hyper educated kids being educated by hyper-educated adults within the community that supported the whole ecosystem. >> and then what happened?
6:52pm
>> well, it was interesting, when i talked to people about the history of dunbar, and d.c., i don't say it integrated. because legally it was desegregated. dunbar had always been a segregated school, the big change was it always had been a magnet school. so the concerns showed up in the public school. that is sort of what we see tod today, all the problems and difficulties showed up in the public schools and that happened to dunbar, they really tried to hold on for a very long time. they were able to hold onto the core idea of excellence, despite what all people think of you. despite the difficulties of segregation and racism and prejudice, but you know, once d.c. imploded after the violence in the '80s, '90s, i don't have to tell you, chris, you know. >> let's talk about it and try
6:53pm
to generalize it for audience that is not of color. my dad worked for the city, they raised their kids, they never had steaks or went to clubs, i don't think my dad ever bought a coke on the way home from work. i mean, they didn't waste a nickel. he didn't take the trains, so that we would get all the breaks of dentists, and other areas. they just knew how to raise families, sounds like your family. >> there was a great story about my grandfather who had a law degree and had to work three jobs so that my mom and uncle didn't have to work after school. and could concentrate on their studiy ies that helped you beco the person you are. we looked back at dr. king's message. i like to call racism like a weed, just because you take the
6:54pm
tops off, the weed is there and will grow back, right? so you have housing discrimination that we still have the roots of. employment discrimination and education discrimination, and the roots are still there even if we ripped off the top of the weed. >> how much is an inside problem or an outside problem? is it all too mixed up? >> i think it is so mixed up. as i said, i never know whether it is education first or jobs first, because public schools, what do you see, if somebody moves to the neighborhood because public schools are good and therefore the neighborhood gets better. one thing they're doing at dunbar, this week they opened a brand-new $122 million new version of the school, with the idea of trying to look to the past excessive dunbar, to help the kids who are there now think about their own future. what they have done is -- >> okay, let's get people to read the book. >> please do. >> that is the important thing, we can't do it in five minutes here.
6:55pm
first class, dunbar, what a great book and author, thank you, allison for the book, it again is first class. when we return, let me finish with the usual suspects beating the war drums again. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ] we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. this labor day, don't invest in a mattress until you visit a sleep number store. once you experience it, there's no going back. oh, yeah! at our biggest sale of the year, every bed is on sale. queen mattresses now start at just $599.
6:56pm
and through labor day only, save 50% on our limited edition memory foam mattress sets. only at a sleep number store. sleep number. comfort individualized.
6:57pm
♪ we go, go, we don't have to go solo ♪ ♪ fire, fire, you can take me higher ♪ ♪ take me to the mountains, start a revolution ♪ ♪ hold my hand, we can make, we can make a contribution ♪ ♪ brand-new season, keep it in motion ♪ ♪ 'cause the rhyme is the reason ♪ ♪ break through, man, it doesn't matter who you're talking to ♪ [ male announcer ] completely redesigned for whatever you love to do. the all-new nissan versa note. your door to more. ♪
6:58pm
let me finish tonight with this. it is pretty obvious, don't you think, why so many people have had it with war? the trumpets have blown, the war
6:59pm
has sounded, and by then, the bodies start to come home. and then the people we put in power in afghanistan and iraq begin the predictable pattern of humiliating us, blaming us, acting like the only wish was for us to get out of their country, liberation means never having to say thank you. president obama knows this, and haven't you noticed by the time people realize the hell we've gotten into it, the drum beaters are picking up their check at the heritage foundation getting back their strength for the next journals and the rounds of articles to get back in the war. if you're president obama, why
7:00pm
would you do what these people want you to, the george patones who stand ready to fight in any wars. here we go, with another sound bite and letterman, you will love this, two days. that is "hard ball" thank you for joining us, i hope you have a healthy and safe and enjoyable weekend. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. a surprise attack on a deputy, a convicted rapist lose his his cool in